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Sunday Roundup: 2/7/16

Culdcept Saga CoverCuldcept Saga
Xbox 360
Release Date: February 5th, 2008
Purchased at: GameStop (Campbell, CA – $9)

Wow, such a cool find at this store! I’ve heard of the Culdcept series before, but never knew it was released on the 360. More importantly I never knew the series was comparable to the board game Monopoly! Players traverse around the game board, purchasing land/locations in hopes others will land on it and pay their fee. Instead of setting up hotels to ensure the most return, you actually summon monsters to guard your locations, which other players can then challenge and defeat to claim the land as their own! It’s like Fortune Street but replace the stock market with freakin’ dragons! How has this series escaped me all this time, because that sounds fantastic!

Record of Agarest War Zero CoverRecord of Agarest War Zero
Xbox 360
Release Date: June 14th, 2011
Purchased at: GameStop (Campbell, CA – $4)

I’ve seen this games on the shelf for years now, and only this week decided to take them home. This is a prequel to the original Record of Agarest War, also on the 360, and features similar gameplay. As far as recognizable RPGs go, even on the 360, these games aren’t ever mentioned. I wonder if it’s just another generic RPG with nothing to call it’s own. Wikipedia says there’s a generation thing going on, in which your main protagonist has a child who becomes the new main protagonist as the timeline continues. So that’s cool, but if it’s the only thing the game has going for it, playing for several dozen hours will be tedious.

Laters,
Jsick

 
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Posted by on 02/07/2016 in Collecting, Xbox 360

 

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Sunday Roundup: 1/31/16

New Games (1-31-16)A handful of DS games and a duo of games I’ve literally been spending years trying to track down finally fell into my collection this week! After our move, I’m living closer to a different GameStop than before, but seeing as I still work at the same Target, I happen to be close to that ol’ GameStop of mine. And man, this week they delivered: apparently a “regular” who goes to this store often turned in dozens of great DS games. They were all loose, but some of them had incredible prices! I couldn’t say no to these and a few duplicates for possible reselling. Hmm… maybe I’ll finally start getting into that this year…

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The Epic Battles of Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

Mario and Luigi Paper Jam ArtIf you haven’t noticed, Nintendo has had two successful role play games starring Mario. Sadly none of them are in conjunction with Square, but they are excellent in their own right. The Paper Mario series has been going strong since the Nintendo 64, and the Mario & Luigi series has been successful since the days of the Game Boy Advance. Both have adventures taking place in the Mushroom Kingdom, but until very recently they have stayed away from one another. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam brings both games together and, somehow, managed to capture the essence of both series’ in one complete adventure. However, there’s something that stands out more than the interesting premise and adorable mashup of visual styles… the boss battles in this game are insane! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 01/28/2016 in Nintendo 3DS

 

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Video Review: Mad Dog McCree: Gunslinger Pack

I recorded this audio and cut the video over a year ago, but for this, that, and the other I was never able to put it up on YouTube. Because of this, the audio is a bit low as to avoid the ambient noise my old microphone picked up. Aside form that, this is a fresh new video review for your viewing pleasure!

Laters,
Jsick

 
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Posted by on 01/27/2016 in Wii

 

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The Games I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

Street Fighter V Ken

We’re knee deep in 2016 and there are a ton of awesome games scheduled for release this year! Just like every year, I’m sure I won’t have enough time to get around to all of them, but with so many excellent choices I feel like 2016 will be another great year in video games. Gamers have been spoiled recently: there have been lots of great years of games lately. Not just a few good games here and there, but complete years of consistently great games to keep your systems hot. So let’s check out what’s coming in 2016! Here are some games I’m anticipating to play and thoroughly enjoy this year! Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Sunday Roundup: 1/17/16

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles CoverTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
PS2
Release Date: October 21st, 2003
Purchased at: Goodwill (Sunnyvale, CA – $6)

The first pickup of 2016 isn’t anything special. In fact I don’t even know if I’d call this the first pickup: it’s so small. On top of that, I haven’t had time to really check out a lot of places and track some decent stuff down. Regardless, I was happy to see this PS2 game complete on the shelf. There’s a nice little beat ’em up series of Turtles games on the PS2, so maybe this will be the year I can track them all down!

Laters,
Jsick

 
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Posted by on 01/17/2016 in Collecting, Playstation 2

 

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Virtual Reality Headsets and a Giant NES Controller at this year’s CES

CES - 346

A common trend while walking this year’s Consumer Electronics Show floor was, without a doubt, virtual reality. We largely have the success of Oculus to thank for the recent boom in VR tech, but I had to wonder what it meant for the video game industry seeing all those headsets at every booth. Alas, I was only able to demo one headset personally, but picked up some information about many others.

The one set I tried was by Razor, and it is called the Open Source Virtual Reality headset, or OSVR for short. Razor is doing something great with OSVR: instead of having a static headset with all the features already on it, the OSVR is modular. So if you want to customize the display with different eyeware or a different virtual reality hardware altogether you can do so, and the OSVR software will incorporate what you are using into the control of the game. Of course there’s some limitations on what you can do with the headset your using and the compatiable games, but it is nice having that freedom to not be tied down with one headset, like Oculus, when others are coming out and you might want to play their games too. Speaking of games, OSVR didn’t have a game to demo, but instead a 3D rendered cinema to watch with the OSVR headset. It was pretty amazing to be honest. The headset reacted well to movement, the sound was clear, and it really felt like I was slowly moving towards a city-destroying robot! Fun times!

Other VR options included headset mounts for your smartphone. These were neat in concept, but not as cool as a full blown headset for VR. Essentially, you could hook up your iPhone to the mount, place it really close to your face, put on some headphones, and use the gyroscopic sensors to simulate 3D tech movement. It’s a great approach to the VR scene, but didn’t look or feel as impressive as Oculus, Sony’s PlayStation VR, or the OSVR.

Another trend I saw was two screen VR and one screen VR. From what I experienced, having one screen was ideal for someone in my condition (I have a lazy eye, if you didn’t know, so I can’t see out of my left eye), as it most easily let me view the action on the headset. With two separate screens it was difficult for me to see the entire playing field because the headset would require both eyes to see the two screens, blend them together, and give you the 3D effect. I demoed a random booth using a headset (I forgot which one!) and played Xbox One’s Killer Instinct (my first time playing it, as well!). I couldn’t see the far right and far left of the screen because of that aforementioned issue. But if you have no eye issues, then having two screens will probably be fine for you.

CES - 195

Removing VR tech altogether, there wasn’t much else I saw in terms of gaming. Sony was there, and I was actually able to play the Street Fighter V beta for the first time. I picked up a controller and naturally selected Ken, but was surprised to see how different he played! Aside from the new design, his Hurricane Kick with fierce kick is redone, his reach seems different, and in general he just plays differently from his Street Fighter IV days. Regardless, I’m even more excited to pick up the game when it releases. There was a line behind me to play, so I couldn’t get around to playing anybody else. I want to try out Necali and Laura, two new characters for the series!

Sony also had the new Ratchet & Clank on display. I didn’t get a chance to play it personally, but watching the game in action was gorgeous. I really love a game with tons of color and an imaginative world, and though Ratchet & Clank can be dark and brooding, it still looks great. With an upcoming April release date I’m hoping the game is a worthy entry in the series and not just a movie tie-in cash-in.

Not at the Sony booth but still using a PS4, I demoed PS Now once again. The entire concept of PS Now is great, but I just don’t like the pricing. I played Street Fighter IV on PS Now and didn’t see any lag at all. The show’s Wi-Fi could (and probably was) have been outstanding and that affected the gameplay lag, so I took that with some hesitation. And that price point, ugh!

CES - 520

Lastly, I stopped by a booth that really just sells video gaming cables, controllers, and swag, and they happened to have a gigantic NES controller running the original Super Mario Bros on a big screen. Naturally I jumped right in, took the warp pipe in World 1-2, warped to World 4, got to level 4-2 before dying, all before turning around and seeing a sizable crowd of jolly nerds watching me! It was like the good ol’ days of the arcade, only in a convention center with a console game and a comically large controller! It’s like the same thing!

This year’s CES was great, but I felt a sort of familiarity with everything present. Virtual reality, at this point, is nothing new, neither is streaming games, huge TVs, or novelty video game controllers. That being said CES is hardly a video game convention. It’s a tech convention, and video games happen to be featured in one small corner of a one big hall, and part of an even bigger convention. Still though, with each new CES I’ll be sure to check out the video game tech. Who knows, perhaps next year there will be something even more amazing!

Happy New Year,
Jsick

 
 

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